|Alexa: Amazon's operating system|
|By Thom Holwerda on 2017-01-05 23:02:34|
In short, Amazon is building the operating system of the home - its name is Alexa - and it has all of the qualities of an operating system you might expect:
It's definitely an interesting case to make - and Ben Thomspon does it well - but I still have a very, very hard time seeing voice-driven interfaces as anything but a gimmick at this point in time. Every point I made about this subject in the Summer of 2016 still stands today - limited functionality, terrible speech recognition, inability to deal with dialects and accents, and the complete and utter lack of support for people who live multilingual lives.
I can't hammer this last point home often enough: not a single one of the voice-driven interfaces we have today - Alexa, Siri, Google Now, Google Assistant, Cortana, whatever - support multilingual use. Some of them may allow you to go deep into a menu structure to change input language (while some, like smartwatches, even require a full wipe and reset), but that's not a solution to the problem of switching language sometimes even several times a minute, something multilingual people have to do dozens of times every day. And again - there are literally hundreds of millions of people who lead multilingual lives.
Heck, Alexa is only available in English and German!
If voice-driven interfaces are really as important as people make them out to be, they've got at least a decade of development ahead of them before they become actually useful and usable for the vast majority of the world.
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